Saudi Aramco, China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO), and Panjin Xincheng Industrial Group, Co., Ltd. signed the joint development agreement and held a groundbreaking ceremony for the Saudi Aramco - NORINCO Refining, Petrochemical and Retail Project in Panjin, in northeast China’s Liaoning province.
The idea for this project received a major boost during the visit by The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman Bin Abdulaziz to China in March 2017, when Saudi Aramco and NORINCO signed the project Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
HE Khalid Al-Falih, Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, who was in Beijing to participate in the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, attended the ceremony where Saudi Aramco and NORINCO signed an agreement to pave the way for a Joint Development agreement to build a refining, chemicals, and retail network in Panjin.
Later on site in Panjin, Mr. Abdulaziz M. Al-Judaimi, Senior Vice President Downstream at Saudi Aramco attended a groundbreaking event, which was also attended by Mr. Yin Jiaxu, Chairman of Norinco Group; and Mr. Zhang Lei, Liaoning Executive Deputy Governor; Nabil Al Nuaim, President of Aramco Asia; and Mr. Gao Ke, Panjin Municipal Party Secretary. Representatives from relevant ministries, provincial departments, NORINCO, Saudi Aramco and Huajin Group also attended.
The governor of Liaoning province Mr. Chen Qiufa announced the project commencement and the joint development agreement was signed by Mr. Abdulaziz M. Al-Judaimi, Mr. Zhao Gang, and Mr. Hao Chunrong.
The project is a key element in China’s petrochemical industry forward planning and the revitalization drive for the old industrial base in northeast China. It is a major project in NORINCO’s drive to develop the industrial value chain, facilitating overseas oil exploration and trade, as well as growth in the petrochemical, final chemicals and specialty chemical sectors.
Having completed the environmental impact assessment and won 23 project supporting documents in less than three years, the project obtained final approval from Liaoning Provincial Development and Reform Commission.
The goal of the project is to build a world-class refining and chemical integration base, with global best practice standards of cost-saving, sustainability, and advanced technology. The construction will be based on the principles of integration, clustering development, differentiation and scale up.
The project will further promote the implementation of China’s “Belt & Road” initiative and the safe, efficient, and sustainable development of petrochemical industry in China in partnership with the globally recognized enterprise working in this field.
The project will significantly expand Saudi Aramco’s footprint in China’s downstream industry considering the paramount importance of the Chinese economy for Saudi and Saudi Aramco’s future investments. It will also enhance the competitiveness of NORINCO’s petrochemical and value-added chemical divisions, and promote the overall economic revitalization in Liaoning and Panjin.
This project will potentially become a key building block in both companies’ portfolios and a new landmark in the industry since it has all ingredients for integration, optimization, capital efficiency and located in a very promising region. Both partners will bring their best practices in project management and execution and operations to add value to this project.